Meet the Designer: Sami Bags
Meet Sameena, the woman behind handwoven bag brand Sami
With a keen interest in creating sustainable fashion items, Sameena has created the brand Sami, bags made only from recycled materials. Sameena is injects colour and fun into her designs to prove that just because something is sustainable doesn't mean it should lose its fun factor.
Tell us a little about your brand
Sami bags are designed in London, and handwoven in Manila, Philippines. We partner with an initiative in Manila that empowers artisans by providing them with a fair wage, a safe working environment, and access to workshops to aid both their personal and professional independence. Workshops include teaching artisans how to set up their own bank accounts and giving them business tools in order to create a sustainable income for themselves and their families.
We use excess textiles from fashion houses in the Philippines and weave them into beautiful clutch handbags, creating positivity and both ends of the fashion supply chain.
Why have you chosen to partner with LDC?
We have chosen to partner with LDC because we love the community LDC creates, and the platform that LDC provides for young designers who share a similar ethos based around creating positive change. After visiting previous LDC pop-up stores, we are super excited to be showcasing our collection alongside other well-curated, beautiful brands.
What is the ultimate goal for your brand?
The ultimate goal is for the Sami brand to become synonymous with sustainable fashion in the UK. We hope to grow our collection, creating a diverse range of ethically sourced and manufactured products. We want to grow our Sami family by building relationships and working with artisans from all over the world and creating positive change through fashion.
Was there a catalyst that sparked you to start your own label?
Our brand is designed by me, Sameena - endearingly nicknamed Sami by friends and family. I was a dental student in my final year when I fell seriously ill and had to leave university without completing my degree. During this time, I became more interested in the impact of the fashion industry and started looking for alternatives to high street brands. It was then that I realised there was a huge gap in the market for products that were not only fashionable, but also affordable and sustainable too. I started sketching my own designs and searching for initiatives that empower artisans through fair trade practices. And so, the Sami brand was born.
Where do you seek inspiration from for your collections?
My greatest inspiration is nature. The colour combinations of the handbags are striking and unexpected, drawn from flowers and landscapes. My designs also embody energy through the constant motion of the tassels and fringes.
The name of each collection is symbolic of my own experiences during the design process. The first collection, Hanan, was named after the Filipina Goddess of new beginnings, because launching my first collection was a new chapter for me. The second collection is called Holli, named after the Hindu festival of colour, which was the day we finalised our colour palate.
Come and check out Sami's bags and get the chance to meet the designer. All at our Soho concept store from 13th - 26th February, 59 Greek Street, W1D 3DZ.